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Saturday June 22, 2024

Sindh, Punjab plains swelter in heatwave

Plains of Sindh and Punjab remained in grip of severe heatwave-like conditions with maximum temperature recorded at 48.5 C in Nawabshah

By M Waqar Bhatti
May 19, 2024
Men cool off in a fountain in Karachi. — Reuters/File
Men cool off in a fountain in Karachi. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: The plains of Sindh and Punjab remained in the grip of severe heatwave-like conditions on Saturday with the maximum temperature recorded at 48.5 C in Nawabshah.

The mercury also crossed the 40 C mark in Karachi on Saturday, as the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) reported that the maximum temperature recorded in the city was 40.2 C.

The Met Office has warned that the weather would remain hot and humid in Sindh and Punjab today (Sunday) with the maximum temperatures ranging between 38 C and 40 C. PMD officials also warned that the plains of Sindh and Punjab are likely to be in the grip of an extremely severe heatwave from May 20 to May 27, saying that in some cities, temperatures can even rise to 50 C.

Sindh Chief Meteorological Officer Dr Sardar Sarfaraz said hot weather would continue in Karachi for some days. He added that extremely hot conditions were expected in Sindh, southern and northern Punjab and Balochistan, adding that even in coastal cities like Karachi the weather would remain extremely hot and humid for seven or eight days.

Blaming the urban heat island (UHI) effect for the hot nights in Karachi, he said that even the minimum temperature remains between 27 C and 29 C, which becomes unbearable for densely populated areas, especially in the absence of electricity. He explained that unplanned urbanisation and the lack of green areas are behind the rising night temperatures in the city. “Concrete traps heat in the day and releases the heat at night,” he pointed out. “The heat released by the buildings, houses, pavements and other structures remains trapped in the environment, and despite the cool sea breeze, this phenomenon keeps the city hot.”